Filmmaker on the Stage

This is Laith al-Majali on this year’s Commencement stage, camera in hand.

Elon invited Laith to be the 2010 Commencement speaker — quite an honor considering that he earned his bachelor’s degree from Elon only five years ago.

Laith already has established himself as a premier photojournalist and filmmaker. He produced the Jordanian film “Captain Abu Raed,” which received the World Cinema Audience Award at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival.

Laith and I came to Elon at the same time, just weeks before 9/11, 2001. He came to Elon as the university’s first King Hussein of Jordan Scholar, and I came as founding dean of the School of Communications.

Laith quickly distinguished himself as a campus leader, and in the days following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, he served as a unifying voice during campus gatherings as the only Arab on campus. He was active in campus media and began producing film projects that led to his rapid ascent as a photojournalist and filmmaker.

In the School of Communications, we’re proud of the fact that Elon has selected a Cinema alum twice in the past three years as the undergraduate Commencement speaker. Doug Finberg, a 1994 Elon graduate who became senior vice president of international marketing for Paramount Pictures, spoke to 10,000 students, family members and faculty at the 2008 Commencement.

Explore posts in the same categories: Alumni, Special Guests

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